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Not sure if this amber is actually amber


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KompsFossilsNMinerals

Hi everyone, this is a piece of "amber" I bought a little while back. Not entirely sure if it's real so I thought I'd check here. It fluoresces green under a UV light and sort of smells sappy when pricked with a hot pin. Also included are some microscopic photos of the insect inclusions.20200922_150702.jpg.1a93cf00cf284f6bdc5b311f2dbcfd82.jpg

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daves64

I'd say it's real, but may not be amber, but copal (young amber) from Columbia or Madagascar. When you used the hot pen, did it melt in fast or slow? Fast tends to mean copal, slow could mean amber. There is another test you can do at home. Put a small drop of acetone on it somewhere, an area that won't be noticed. If it gets tacky with the acetone, it's copal. With Amber, acetone just evaporates. But looking at the pic of the piece itself, I'm leaning towards copal, but I could be wrong. :shrug: But.. either way, it is real. 

Edited by daves64
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Praefectus

I am also of the opinion that it is real. I'm not sure if it is amber or copal, though. 

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Top Trilo

I thought amber is fluorescent while copal is not meaning this piece has to be amber

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44 minutes ago, Top Trilo said:

I thought amber is fluorescent while copal is not meaning this piece has to be amber

I think it can be fluorescent, but a different colour to amber. 

 

Interestingly, my Burmite is more turquoise/blue than green 

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IsaacTheFossilMan

Test with it floating in salty water, too! Real amber will float.

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KompsFossilsNMinerals
54 minutes ago, Top Trilo said:

I thought amber is fluorescent while copal is not meaning this piece has to be amber

 

7 minutes ago, Yoda said:

I think it can be fluorescent, but a different colour to amber. 

 

Interestingly, my Burmite is more turquoise/blue than green 

Here are some photos under short wave and long wave UV in that order.

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KompsFossilsNMinerals
Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, IsaacTheFossilMan said:

Test with it floating in salty water, too! Real amber will float.

Did not float :shakehead:, however I will try with more salt soon.

 

edit: it did float a little before sinking, not sure if this is an indicator.

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Edited by KompsFossilsNMinerals
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Top Trilo

I think the second UV image shows amber, that blue turquoise green color is what mine and other amber looks like. Did the site you got it from mention location or age?

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KompsFossilsNMinerals
53 minutes ago, Top Trilo said:

I think the second UV image shows amber, that blue turquoise green color is what mine and other amber looks like. Did the site you got it from mention location or age?

I bought it from a fossil and mineral shop in Massachusetts, did not come with any info. Only a bag and the price tag unfortunately.

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It’s amber.the salt water test is inconclusive for amber as both amber and copal will float. The more accurate tests are the hot needle and the uv lights. In the hot needle test if it penetrates easily it’s copal. If it barely penetrates or cracks it’s amber. Amber should also smell of punked wood during the test. In the uv test amber is fluorescent copal is not. The proper way to do the salt water test is 7 teaspoons salt in a medium cup of water....

there is also the rubbing test... real amber has electrostatic properties. wrap it in a cloth and rub it for 20-60 seconds. Then hold it next to a strand of hair. It should attract the hair. Copal won’t build up a charge and may even become sticky....

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Hello, this is a real fossil

 

As for whether it's amber or copal, was your hot needle able to penetrate it like butter?

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KompsFossilsNMinerals
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, -Andy- said:

Hello, this is a real fossil

 

As for whether it's amber or copal, was your hot needle able to penetrate it like butter?

From what I can remember, no. But I can try again.

Edited by KompsFossilsNMinerals
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I would think this is Copal, I knew a copal dealer from Columbia who used to import huge amounts. Same type of color. I think regardless it is amazing. He had some massive chunks, The bubbles look like they have bubbles within, do they move when rotated. I have some specimens with fluid trapped in bubbles. Copal and amber are amazing. It is basically the first camera kinda. My photos are columbian copal, I used to go through his shipping boxes in Canada from Columbia for raw rough copal that didnt have peek holes chipped in them . These are semi polished by myself. Note: the more rind /crust removed changes the color dramatically. A polished specimen like yours tends to have that light golden honey look which is similar to copal.

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Edited by Buteo
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Color alone is not an indication of amber or copal. I have hundreds of pieces of amber and they range in colors. A large majority of them are golden or honey colored. The hot needle test and the u.v. And the acetone Test are more conclusive. There are huge amounts of amber and copal coming out of Columbia. With the way the Colombian geology has been shaken up you can find copal within a few dozen yards of amber. In the almost 40 years I’ve collected amber (off and on) I’ve handled thousands of pieces and I’ve seen everything from light golden up to green colored amber.

hope this helps!

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23 hours ago, KompsFossilsNMinerals said:

From what I can remember, no. But I can try again.

 

Then it is amber

 

Amber can resist a hot needle poking. I dare say in fact you couldn't pierce through amber with a hot needle. For copal however, it'd poke right through

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